Don’t Let Your Employees Grow Up To Be Incompetent

Bring out people’s unique talents to build your company’s competitive intelligence.

In retail the principle is: location. Location. Location. By the way that holds true for the net but now its location in people’s minds.

In training it’s reinforce, revise, reinforce, revise reinforce.

So here is the cheapest, fastest, most effective way that I know to making learning stick.

Why & How to Use Virtual Follow-Up Sessions to Reinforce Learning’s & Applications

How often do people take a face-to-face, in-classroom training session or log into an e-learning program, whether live or recorded, then fail to apply their learning’s to their jobs?

About 95%.

What a waste.

Perhaps worse than that is companies — and the people who run them — become cynical about training. They stop training people because they don’t see results.

The cost? Loss of competitive intelligence, low engagement, mis-alignment, and retention problems.

There are lots of reasons for this.

The #1 reason?

There is no follow-up to answer and solve people’s questions or confusions that arise after they take a seminar.

Did you know that something like 65 – 70% of what people retain (retention is about 15%) in a seminar is misinterpreted or mis-used.

So what we have is what Daniel Moynihan termed “Maximum feasible misunderstanding.”

Fact: Learners get stuck. We do not know how to apply the learning’s to our work.

Imagine going out for two days of golf lessons, then never taking any lessons after that. Actually, That’s exactly what most people do. Which is why there are so many bad, mad golfers.

So experienced managers, like experienced golfers keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I guess that’s why many golfers act insane on the gold course. The same insanity, I think, goes on in the workplace.

Research from Simon Fraser University tells us that it takes 7 repetitions, with feedback, practice, revisions and more feedback to learn how to ingrain and apply a new set of skills.

Without ongoing follow-up, training is a money pit. An expense, rather than an investment.

There is no ROI on the company’s training investment. Not good.

A solution?

One-on-one, virtual, follow-up, coaching sessions to reinforce and apply learning’s from an instructor-led in-class seminar or virtual e-learning program.

A virtual follow-up coaching session is a 20-minute one-on-one conversation via skype, phone or iChat.
The person’s particular, unique concerns are dealt with and solved.
It is conducted by a trained coach who has real business experience — like at least 15 -25 years.

Too expensive you say? Not compared with the time and money you waste without it.

Here’s how virtual, follow-up, one-on-one coaching sessions work:

  • There should be a minimum of three one-on-one sessions — preferably 6 — spread over 9 months to allow for on-the-job implementation.
  • First session is set about 10 days after the completion of the seminar. This sets the expectation that the participants will start applying what they learn to their workplace.
  • One week before the scheduled one-on-one session, the person receives, and fills out, a template to help articulate what s/he’s been struggling with.
  • Those notes are sent to the coach one day before the session.
  • On the appointed date, the coach Skype’s (preferably video) calls or iChat’s the client to have the one-on-one conversation.
  • Accountabilities and action plans are agreed upon and recorded using the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. formula.
  • The next session is scheduled within 10-14 days. This process is repeated for the next 2 – 5 sessions.
  • The benefits of conducting virtual, one-on-one, follow-up sessions include:

  • Ensuring mastery of the material is learned and applied on the job.
  • The client gets individualized feedback about her/his unique issues.
  • The company gets about as high an ROI you can get on the training investment — in terms of competence, motivation, engagement, alignment and retention.
  • Ensuring that Kirkpatrick Level 3 (improved performance behaviours in the workplace) and Level 4 (increased business results) are delivered.
  • Leverage of the learning — every manager impacts the performance of at least 10 – 20 employees.
  • Over time the coach will be able to distinguish between, and work with, individual performance issues, cultural context and external forces that might get in the way of the person increasing their performance.
  • Whether used for instructor-led in-classroom training or e-learning programs, doing virtual, follow-up, one-on-one coaching sessions is an effective, high payback ingredient to any learning.

    Virtual, follow-up, one-on-one’s to help ensure mastery and, most importantly, ongoing application to the clients’ work situation that make a positive difference in individual and organizational business results – i.e. more fun and profits.

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